Friendship and growth through nature
Meaningful purpose drives the Adventure Club. | Photo Courtesy of Natanael Cho
The campers begin to stir from within their tents. The sound of one member’s voice reading Revelation cuts through the morning silence as the sun rises higher and higher into the brilliant sky at Joshua Tree National Park. Junior engineering physics major Valerie Vant Land describes this morning as the unique type of outing students experience in the Adventure Club.
Culvitating Community and Spirituality
“It’s really cool to come together, not only longing to get to know Christ, but also because we all have this love for nature and adventure and just being outside,” Vant Land said.
A president, vice president and a minimum of four officers lead the Adventure Club, one of the many student-run clubs at Biola, with the purpose of cultivating community and spirituality through exploring nature.
“My experience has been really great. I’ve enjoyed all of the trips that we’ve gone on,” said senior studio arts major Michael Hallman, a fourth year club member.
Club officers welcome all students who enjoy traversing outdoors and experiencing creation. They plan camping trips, hiking days and rock climbing events throughout the year. Students can utilize the club to gain knowledge about outdoor activities as well as share their previous knowledge with other members of the group.
“Adventure Club can offer students a more complete intensive side of exploring nature by doing backpacking trips and true rock climbing with ropes and gear,” said newest club officer and senior business administration major Brian Messner.
The officers have significant knowledge about the outside activities they lead, according to Vant Land. However, if they do not know how to do certain things, they learn together as a group.
“[The Adventure Club] gives students the opportunity to do kinds of adventures that they can’t really do with the resources they alone have,” Messner said.
Each officer holds a different task, some of which include planning trips, finding the gear necessary for the trips and praying for all of the members.
“Our job as officers is to make sure the club does thrive and function smoothly,” said Martha Langenwalter, junior accounting major and Adventure Club officer. “Every one of the people who come into our club is included because they are valuable.”
Surrounded by Nature
As a way of encouraging spiritual growth during the trips, officers suggest the members separate from the group to have quiet times and experience God with the sounds of nature around them.
“Having that silent time with God is really valuable,” Langenwalter said. “We are all very busy, but just getting out and having a weekend where it’s just quiet and relaxing is sometimes really vital for us.”
The club truly focuses on maintaining vibrant community. The officers believe challenging people to do something they have never tried before, such as rock climbing, brings closer friendships and deeper growth.
“I have had a lot of good friendships come out of [Adventure Club], and that feeds the soul,” Langenwalter said.